The emerald ash borer (EAB) is beginning to gain the media attention that it deserves. This tiny insect originally from East Asia has killed millions of ash trees in Southwestern Ontario, Michigan and surrounding states. It was first found in Windsor, Ontario in 2002. It kills 99% of the ash trees it infests. All 16 species of ash (Fraxinus spp.) found in North America, at any age and stage of development, are susceptible to the emerald ash borer.
Much of Southwestern Ontario is now listed as ‘Infested Places” by the CFIA, these include the City of Toronto, the Region of Peel, the Region of Halton and the City of Hamilton. 2012 may very well be a critical moment in our ash population timeline. There are still many ash in our area healthy enough to protect.
Ash that are in good health, structurally sound, in a prominent location on the property or hold sentimental value can be injected with a pesticide to help protect them from the emerald ash borer. We suggest assessing each ash tree on your property individually for its importance and contribution to your landscape. The treatment is a big commitment and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Treatment needs to be conducted on a bi-annual schedule and cost is dependent on the size of the tree.
Research is continuing on the emerald ash borer and its control methods. Insecticides and biological controls such as predators, parasites and diseases are being studied in Ontario. Similar bio-controls have been released in the United States. Unfortunately the effects of infestation do not facilitate much reaction time, an infested tree could die in 2-3 years. If you want to protect your ash the time to act is now.